Due to be released on 20th November 2015 by Bad Elephant Music, the new album from The Room – ‘Beyond The Gates Of Bedlam’ is reviewed by our own Emma Roebuck.
The first thing I have to own up to is that I like The Room and am promoting one of the forthcoming tour dates.
I came late to these guys and bought ‘Open Fire’ on a whim, I immediately regretted not buying it earlier.
On first play, ‘Beyond The Gates Of Bedlam’ is the natural successor to ‘Open Fire’ in content, style and the music. It has all the hallmarks of song structure, melody and lyrics that made me like them in the first place.
The prog credentials are still there, 5 tracks coming in at over 6 minutes and this allows the musical ability of the band to come through in spades and the rest are not lacking for being shorter.
It has a better feel and production as well as being far more confident a product than ‘Open Fire’, there is a definite ‘levelling up’ on this album.
Although not a concept album there is a theme to it. Life, love, and power, and how it affects people. Martin Wilson’s vocals add to the distinctive sound, filling the songs with passion in his delivery. The guitar work from Steve Anderson is rich and varied but not overpowering, his ability shining through on such tracks as Masquerade and the Hunter.
Andy Rowe (bass) and Chris York (drums) provide a really solid foundation throughout the whole album, giving this very varied release a consistency worthy of the songs. Steve Checkley’s keyboards fill the music with light and shade, combining well with Anderson’s guitar on The Book, a song about the manipulation of faith by the powers that be for their own ends.
Even the more or less straight rockers on the album like Splinter are complex enough for the average prog fan. The high point for me is Bedlam, a ‘Post-apocalyptic view of life and how the fabric of life can easily break down when law and order is no longer effective’. This track is going to be a classic, 20 minutes of pure prog condensed down into 5.
Looking at this as an overall product, if you like a well contrasted songs with melodic variety at the progressive of the music market then, this is the album for you, if you want metal, dissonance or Canterbury, this is not it. For fans and listeners of Frost*, Jump or their ilk, I reckon your money would not be wasted .
Released 20th November 2015 through Bad Elephant Music.
Pre-orders opening very soon, please keep an eye out for details.
You can listen to Carrie, the first single from the album, at the link below: